A Yankee description of Garibaldian London.
[London Correspondence of the N. Y. Tribune.]
Garibaldiana come first of course.
You will have already learned some things about him; how France
quaked as he passed; how the English
heart was thrilled when he touched the shore at Southampton
; how The Times,
one face toward Napoleon
and Francis Joseph
and the other toward the People, cried, "Order gentlemen, order!
Remember that it must all be for Garibaldi
in the abstract — not a word about Garibaldi
in the concrete, you know!
You know, too, for the papers will tell you all the pretty things, how he interchanged visits with Tennyson
, and planted the tree (Wellingtonia gigamea) at the Laureate
's "castle." Faringford.
But about that part of his visit I will tell you what you will get from no London
paper; and that is, that the first man he was closeted with on his arrival was Joseph Mazziai
, and the next were P. A. Taylor
, M. P. (sometime President
of Garibaldi Committee years ago,) and Karl Blind.
All of which gave a very plain assertion of what perhaps most people (certainly all in France
, and Italy
,) knew before, that Garibaldi
did not come to England
to feast on boar's head and champagne, nor to go to the opera at Covent Garden
, but to consult with certain representatives of the European Democracy
of every European
country, who, by a notable coincidence, happen here at this time.
But I must go on at once to tell you something about his reception in London
, to which, however, a hundred correspondents, if you had them here, could scarcely do justice.
I have witnessed the outpourings and tumults of Derby Day, of Boxing Nights of Easter
; but all of them put together would make a small segment of what I witnessed on Monday last.
I started early in the morning, having read The Times's
appeal for a quiet and respectable reception, such as England
usually accords to distinguished visitors, and got on the top of an omnibus about seven miles off from the Nine Elms Station, where he was to be received.
Even at that distance the streets were swarming more than usual.
The omnibus and cab drivers had the Italian
colors — red
, on their breasts — and the low Irish
were at their doors angry and excited — cursing all who wore the colors, and abusing the "church robber." Already at 11½ the best seats around Charring Cross were occupied — the balconies of houses covered with people — although it was certain that the hero could not pass that way for six or seven hours. Reaching slowly, by reason of the crowd, Westminster Bridge, I embarked on the little steamer that took me up to Nine Elms Station.
Around this the crowd was already vast.
Entering the station and reaching my place near the platform where Garibaldi
was to be received, I found an immense crowd waiting there, each of whom had paid a guinea for his or her ticket.
At last the agitation of the multitude announced that the train had arrived.
People pressed forward.
On the great glass roof of the building people climbed up (outside) and shattered panes of glass with their fists to see the hero.
At last he appeared.
As he entered it was manifest that the people would forget the advice of the Times
about an "orderly and quiet" reception.
The programme so carefully prepared by committees and City Council was infringed a Drontrance
Some woman held up her child with a beautiful bouquet in its hand.
took the child in his arms, kissed it, patted its curls, and took the bouquet in his hand.
Then, when the workingmen's address was read, it contained, contrary to all advice, a glowing eulogium on that very Mazzini
for being whose friend Mr. Stanfield
had been hounded out of the Government
; nay, more, when that massage was read (O, what will Louis N. say!) the building rang with plaudits for five or ten minutes. And to cap the climax, when that address was through, an Italian woman, whose head was as near Garibaldi
's feet as ever saint's was to the Pope
's toe, burst out with uncontainable fervor and pathos into a noble address.
Ordinarily the police would have pounced upon any woman speaking on such an occasion, but Garibaldi
bent his eye downward and listened with such feeling to his countrywoman's words that none dared interfere with or interrupt her.
The few words given with very broken English
, but in a fine sonorous voice which he uttered, were as follows: In reply to the representatives of the city, he said: ‘"I am very happy to be enabled to-day to have to give my thanks to this noble nation for its generous sympathy for the cause of my country, and the cause of all mankind.
Long ago I wished well for this day to come, and I am very happy to-day to express to you all my gratitude"’ In reply to the working men, he said: ‘"I like to see workingmen particularly.
I am very grateful, and will forget not in all my life this, welcome of the class I have the honor to belong to I like them to call me the brother of the working man of every part of the world. "’ There was something curious at once and sublime in seeing this brother of the workingmen, who had labored in England
and in New York, enter into the magnificent coach of one of the wealthiest of English Dukes
a few moments after avowing his relation to nearly the lowliest class of English society.
When I left with the crowd I got away by a blind passage to the river, and went back to Westminster
It was a glorious day and a glorious sight that now greeted my eyes.
The magnificent Westminster Hall
, which borders on the river, lifted up its superb towers; but now every tower and turret was alive with human beings.
The bridge itself, the finest, doubtless, in the world, was lined with human beings waiting for the great procession.--From this point up to Charring Cross was one mass of human beings.
At Charring Cross the Nelson
column rose into the air out of a pediment formed of human faces up to the smooth column itself. --The equestrian statue of Charles I. was similarly covered — a chimney sweep on top amusing the crowd by standing behind the statue and placing the Italian
colors now on the statue's head, now on his own, placing his dusty cap on the head of the poor King
The sweep received the plaudits accorded him with great solemnity, bowing graciously on each side, and waving his hand with the dignity of an opera singer.
From this point I looked in every direction, and saw a multitude that no man could number.
Every gas light
, signboard, balcony, house-top, door-step, window, presented to the eye only a mighty efflorescence of human beings.
And not less remarkable was the good order preserved by these masses.
The last crowd I had seen was that which had assembled to witness the execution of the pirates of the Flowery Land
at Newgate — a mass of bloated and sottish thieves and prostitutes.
But here was another class altogether — the laboring masses of England
; and from my own observation of them I anticipated that the police courts would reap (as they did) fewer cases than ever before from a London crowd.
Slowly the procession crept by us, for the people miles off were blocking the way to cheer the hero.
As the banners passed I interested myself in observing the immense number of Societies, Unions, Clubs, &c., whose existence was indicated.
Societies passed with all sorts and kinds of symbols — suns, moons, stars, ladders, fishes, implements, tools, birds, beasts, men, women, Shakespeare
, all these, amid showers of symbols, passed by on flags whose age announced that they were societies of long standing.
But, alas for the teetotalers, only one poor little temperance flag passed, and that, I am bound to say, was greeted with loud and real laughter.
If the total abstinence folks in England
wish to succeed, they will have to make friends with the poor man's beer.
However, I should add that during the whole day I saw neither drunken man or woman, except at one point, a public house, where some low Irish had gathered and were swearing what they would do with Garibaldi
How long the procession was, and how slowly it had to move, may be judged by the fact that, though it started at about 3 o'clock from Nine Elms, not quite three miles from Charring Cross, it was half-past 7 when the General
passed this place.
And when he did, the scene beggars description.
The people climbed up one upon the other to catch a glimpse of him, and as he passed through it was as if a great living see piled up its waves in walls on each side of his chariot.
Meanwhile there rose the joyful shouts of leaping hearts — uttered in every language of the earth — that, as they floated up to old St Martin
's steeple, seemed to move the tongues of its chimes which now broke forth with carols and peals happy enough to have inspired Mr. Dickens
to write a second story about them, or to call back another Whittington
to work from his shop to be Lord Mayor
, or, better, to be a devoted champion of Justice and Liberty.
Let me now say a few words about Garibaldi
Though he was born at Nice
, there is no doubt that the largest vein of blood in him is Teutonic.
It must be borns in mind that, by a fine coincidence, the word Garibald
I means "Bold in War." The first etymon Gar
is the old Saxon
for War, and indeed the English
as well as the French guerre
are descended from it. The word literally means Spear.
German itself means Spearman
Said means bold.
The name is now preserved in Germany
in the corrupted form of Gerbel.
There was a Savarian Duke Garibald
in the sixth century.
Thence the name easily got with the Teutonic
blood into Lombardy
's light hair, whiskers, complexion, and blue eye, all are striking commentaries on this.
He is evidently Teutonic.
He is a most noble person, with a fascinating presence; the lion and the lamb strangely alternating in his expression of face, voice and manner.
During all the reception there was a look and manner about him which must have dissipated the hopes of any tootle or quietists who imagined that he might be here to receive either rest or flattering receptions; he spoke but few words, warm as they are, and his eye looked over and beyond the crowd to an object which his life exists only to attain.